Get Them While They’re Young!

No, it’s not a post enouraging pedophiles, it’s a guest post from Tom of Melbourne!

Unions NSW and the ACTU have launched a brand new method of indoctrinating the young.

They intend to sign up school children as unionists, at the “cut price’ of $10 per month. Seems a bit steep to me. Though if the union is any good we will see some very innovative excuses for homework not being done and poor grades. The unions would only have to recycle the excuses they currently provide for the performance of employees.

Our children will be able to visit unionised workplaces (HOORAY!!) and non union ones (BOOOO!), apparently escorted by some hack. I wonder which ones will come up looking better? Will “GOOD” or “EVIL” seem better?

No doubt our little ones will be taught the “WADDA WE WAN??!!, (something unattainable or economically unsustainable), WENNA WE WANIT?!!! – NOW!!!” mantra.

As if children need more training on how to make unreasonable demands.

Thankfully unions haven’t initiated a similar program aimed at wives and mistresses.

Tom of Melbourne

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248 Responses

  1. Let’s get some facts into this. The forays into schools (which I do think is wrong) is not directly related to signing kids up for joining UnionStart. The kids joining union start are those that are working after school in industries such as retail/hospitality and fast food.

    And I actually think that I was a member of a union when I was a teenager working in a superdupermarket after school.

  2. Love yer work Tom. These trainee bludgers should all be workin down the salt mines anyway, OK?

  3. Tom grabbed this piece of sensationalism off news.com.

    Tom, don’t dirty the fine pages of Blogocrats with garbage like that. You do that well enough on your own.

  4. Love yer work Tom.

    Don’t give Tom the credit for Uncle Rupert’s work.

    BWOOCE . . . rhymes with goose.

  5. It would have been a good debating point for the crux of what the union is doing is wrong, but by adding your personal hatred of unions into the piece as in:

    Though if the union is any good we will see some very innovative excuses for homework not being done and poor grades. The unions would only have to recycle the excuses they currently provide for the performance of employees.

    you just about lost any sensible points you could have made.

  6. Lets face it not much will change. It will just reduce the workload of the many wonderful teachers who have taken it upon themselves until now to tell kids what political party they should support !

  7. Mobius Ecko, on June 10th, 2009 at 6:42 pm Said:

    Thats right, it’s never been a union’s game to force employers to put up with underperforming employees ha ha

  8. Oi Miglo, comin from yer, I’ll take yer vicious defamatory outburst as a compliment ducky, OK?

  9. I have one question…what is the age group of the kids that are being focused on in relation to this topic?

  10. Miglo, that’s a bit rough.

    I hadn’t seen the news article when I penned this clever piece of analysis.

    Getting our children to behave as a mindless collective is a great development in education.

    Here are some advances the union hacks can help with –

    • The teacher is only allowed to give detention if there is double time off in lieu, to be taken during maths.
    • A child is a mug if they don’t pull a sickie every fortnight.
    • If a teacher can’t get through teaching in a day, it’s their fault. Don’t pile the kids up with homework due to teacher incompetence.
    • Free cakes at playtime.
    • Smoking in the toilet permissible.

  11. So, on the broader ppint, Adrian, should unions be entering schools?

  12. Do these unionists have blue cards?

  13. Wait, wait – I call ad hominem on Tom!!! 😛

    That said, I do not see this being a good thing. We already have enough indoctrination of our children in public schools via the socially mandatory scripture classes once a week.

  14. What would happen if Unions ceased to exist??? I have no problems with Unions but i suspect they are struggling for relevancy. They seem to me to be concentrated in areas where there is govt money eg. Universities, Public service , School Teachers.

    If Unions ceased to exist would we be screwed by the bosses/companies???

    Perhaps Unions were useful once but are no longer useful.

  15. Well well looks like the unions have been busy! The daily telegraph poll on union involvement in schools has swung around from about 90 % against early in the piece to a bit over 50 % for! Every second person wants union reps recruiting students. Good work brothers ! TOOLS DOWN !!

  16. How would you like it to look davo? I can change it the other way around in about 10 or 15 minutes if you like… Real reliable these online polls…

  17. There you go 54% to 46% now – is that better for you?

  18. Nah – I don’t like it that way – at 11:59 there is a total of 4552 votes (2075 for, 2477 against)

  19. I don’t know about that, Neil of Sydney, the doctors’ and employer unions seem to be doing very well.

    The AMA has a lot of input (ie pressure) on government health decisions for example.

    And let’s not forget the closed shop imposed by various medical specialist colleges which control the number of trainees. Of course, they don’t do that to limit competition, do they?

  20. Daphon

    You have to remember that Blue-collar unions = bad, White-collar unions = good.

  21. This thread brought back memories of when I was an AWU rep in the eighties.

    I was working for a division of Boral LTD and was responsible for over 300 members, my focus was on health and safety as in the previous year one member lost his life and two others lost feet and an arm due to bad work practices.

    About two weeks after being elected I was called into the GM’s office and was startled to see the AWU union delegate there as it was usual custom for her to visit me first.

    They sat me down and explained how it was to be, I was not to cause any waves and I would be suitably looked after like the last union rep who was promoted to management.

    I walked out of that meeting flabbergasted and being in my mid twenties did not know how to approach an issue of this nature so I did not relate this to anyone and decided that I will fulfil my duties as a union rep and over the next six weeks oversaw three disputes relating to safety.

    I was subsequently reassigned to an area and put on a shift that denied members face to face contact so I was ineffective and decided to resign and return to my vocation.

    I was not paid for the time that I was union rep and resigned from the union, secured a job as a foreman on city projects then was forced to join the BLF and that was another eye opening experience!

  22. scaper…, on June 11th, 2009 at 8:12 am

    That’s interesting, scaper, my uncle was a shop steward at Boral during the 80’s and 90’s which “division” were you at? What year did Boral have a fatality?

    I was ARC Engineering’s OH&S Officer during the early eighties … Boral was just down the road …

  23. Bricks…I,m not quite sure of the exact year (1986?) but the accident happened in the extruder plant, his head was crushed under a conveyor belt.

  24. scaper…, on June 11th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Uncle was at Geebung … steel …

  25. “Thankfully unions haven’t initiated a similar program aimed at wives and mistresses…”

    Nah Tom, they’ll leave that to the Dickie Pratts of the world who can afford more than one squeeze.
    at a time.

  26. Darra…there was no safety officer there, it was back in the wild days.

    I was at the Myer Centre when the scaffolder fell onto the rio and had to be cut down and taken to hospital, that was the start of being serious.

    Never heard of a safety harness back then and I remember working on exterior planter boxes at Carindale Shopping Centre, one slip and you’re dead.

    White knuckle stuff!

  27. No different to McDonalds and Pizza Hut and KFC trying to impress our youth to fast food at schools.

    Or the Banks running school banking for kids to save ( do you think they do it for the kids or for their customer base in the future) I was a school banker with the CBA for 3 years.

    The attack on unions doing something the multinationals have taken advantage of for over 25 years seems a bit one sided to me.

  28. Shane, in case you hadn’t noticed, unions have a clear political affiliation. They control the ALP, so I’m not sure your analogy with the fast food industry is relevant.

  29. They control the ALP

    Which just shows how the word “unions” puts blinkers on you. It was only recently (less than a week old) that Gillard told the unions where they could stick their ideas. Oh, and Bligh is selling public assets against their will too.

    They have a strong influence, but it is obvious from recent events they don’t “control” the ALP any more than the banks & big business control the Liberals.

  30. B.Tolputt – “They have a strong influence, but it is obvious from recent events they don’t “control” the ALP any more than the banks & big business control the Liberals.”
    Really Ben, this demonstrates just how out of touch with reality you are.

    Unions have 50% of the vote in every preselection, on every part of the policy platform, on every structural decision within the ALP.

    The relationship of business to the Liberals is that of mutual and parallel interest, and I think this is the type of relationship that the ALP should have with unions.

  31. Tom

    Do you think every union member votes ALP ? If they did there would never be a change of government from the Labor Party.

    Your blindness to somehow think every union in Australia has a clear political affinity with the ALP never ceases to amaze me. Many disagree strenuously with the ALP and policy on many different areas. They may attempt to influence the party but that is no different to the AMA or the ABA or any other Business Union in comparison to a workers union attempting to influenece the Liberal Party.

    If they have the massive control you seem to believe they have, then public assets would not be sold. Private Businesses would be Nationalised and we would be singing the Soviet Union national anthem.

  32. Tom

    If unions have 50% of the vote then how come policy which goes against the unions requests, is implemented by the ALP.?

  33. Shane, just have a look at the following if you choose not to believe me-

    http://www.alpvictoria.com.au/About-ALP/Labor-and-The-Unions.html

    “The basis of affiliation with the ALP is in accord with the objectives of the trade union movement that aim to improve the standard of living for their members. By affiliating to the ALP, trade unions make use of political action as well as industrial action to achieve outcomes for their members.

    Affiliation to the ALP is at the state level – state branches of the unions are affiliated to state branches of the ALP. Affiliated unions give financial support to the ALP, and have voting rights at State Conference, where they nominate 50% of delegates.”

  34. Tom, you are living in la-la land. As has been stated by others, if unions have control – why then is the ALP thwarting them so often recently?

    The word “unions” crops up and your facility for reason flies out the window.

    Quite simply, explain how Gillard and Bligh (two ALP leaders) can be both under the control of unions and at the same time be booed for the decisions they are making… Or is this just one big conspiracy?

  35. Once again Ben, I not simply asserting this, the ALP says it.

    On the stock exchange, 50% is regarded as a controlling interest.

    It may or may not mean that you get your own way on every detail, but it means you have a controlling interest.

    And they exercise this by rotating preselection between ambitious union officials.

    When Hawke and Wran did their review of the ALP in 2002, there were plenty of local branch members who provided input that they were particularly unhappy with the unionised structure.

    Surprisingly, you would find that the type of view I express is not particularly uncommon within the broader membership of the ALP.

  36. But Tom, you did not state that the unions had a “controlling interest” in the ALP. You stated “they controlled the ALP”; which means something completely different.

  37. No worries Ben. Please go ahead and explain the difference.

    Control – to exercise power or authority over something such as a business or nation – The company is controlled largely by foreign interests.

    Controlling interest – ownership of enough of a company’s shares to allow the holder to control the business

  38. You have it right there in your post, but are too blind to see it.

    Control is (as you state) the exercise of power / authority. A “controlling interest” only allows control and even then (like in the ALP) over specific areas & at specific times.

    A “controlling interest” of shares in Telstra were, for instance, unable to prevent an undesired remuneration package being given to Sol Trujillo. while there was greater than 50% of the shares voting against it – there were not able to exercise power / authority over the boards decision. The unions are similar. They are able to nominate 50% of ALP delegates, but even then the actual sustaining of those delegates and what those delegates do after that is not necessarily controlled by the unions.

    You have been presented two recent cases where the ALP is obviously not controlled by unions (recent actions of Gillard & Bligh). You have ignored these because they fly in the face of what you want to believe. Show how the recent actions of Bligh & Gillard mesh with your claim that “the unions control the ALP”.

  39. Tom

    “Controlling interest – ownership of enough of a company’s shares to allow the holder to control the business”

    Exactly, the Unions must not have control as they cannot control the business ( ALP) as many decisions are made against their interests.

  40. A year or so before his death John Button observed that union officials had won preselection in 20+ consecutive winnable seats in Victoria. He made the point that is was time for an amicable divorce between the party and unions.

    I’ve always had great respect for the insightfulness of Button, and the structure of the party now means it is difficult for people like him to get a seat.

    Also by way of background, Gillard came up with an IR Policy in mid 2007 that was incompetent. She simply did a deal with the unions.

    Rudd had to use up some of his store of credibility to come up with something half sensible.

    Unions run the party, and they know that if they push their agenda into the party too strongly it splits. This incidental self restraint should not be relied on for a stable political party.

    Unions killed off Bob Carr 10 years ago when they stopped him from selling power assets at the top of the market. Who’d buy them now?

    Unions boo everyone they have a marginal disagreement with, the performance for Gillard was just that, a performance. It would have been poison for her to have been applauded.

  41. The unions obviously aren’t familiar with Jesuit brainwashing educational philosophy if they’re skipping 7-up and waiting for 14-up.

  42. In other words, Tom, you think it is a big conspiracy. You completely ignore the Bligh disagreement and claim Gillard is acting.

    It’s good to know that further commentary on unions by yourself can be relegated to the same “crackpot” bin as the Illuminati and Opus Dei assassin-monks 🙂

  43. B.Tolputt – how about you explain the observations of John Button?

    Unions accept the political reality from time to time. They know it is electoral poison to push the ALP beyond what the electorate can accept.

  44. Tom, your “proof” boils down to a man’s opinion and your own circular reasoning.

    You fail to even address the Bligh disagreement, which implies you have no explanation that works with your pre-decided conclusion that unions control the ALP. I’ll consider your new direction of thought (the John Button diversion) when you actually deal with the Bligh problem.

  45. And it seems that the public does not have a problem with the link between the ALP and the unions – seeing that they voted the ALP into government quite a few times since the ALP and union were linked.

    Maybe it is the “inate sense of humour” of the electorate?

  46. B.Tolputt – When the option is bring down a Premier, or just shout at her, unions have chosen the latter on this occasion.

  47. Right. So your proof that they control the ALP is that they cannot afford to control the ALP… And you wonder why we consider you a zealot on the issue. Logic need not apply.

  48. In this respect the behaviour of the unions is much the same as some big businesses realising that if they maximise their market position and profits at the expense of consumers it will attract a reaction.

    You should try the real world occasionally.

  49. You should try the real world occasionally.

    *laughing* Pot meet kettle.

    You are trying to state that unions control the ALP, yet whenever proof is provided showing that doesn’t match facts on the ground – your reason is that it’s all a ruse to stop people rebelling.

    Or in other words “That’s just what they want you to think.”

  50. I was pretty sure the Australian populace knew that the frontier of control extended into the political arena, Joni. I think their innate sense of humour, however, was severely challenged by WorkNoChoices, much like a Chaser’s sketch or a Gordon Ramsay professionalism gone very, very wrong.

  51. In regards to Bligh…it was her own branch (South Brisbane) that wanted her expelled from the party and had nothing to do with unions.

    From last Friday there was a lot of phone calls and meetings concerning the sell out which reached a crescendo late on Saturday night.

    The union bosses were put under a lot of pressure from federal elements and bowed but could not vote in favour of the sellout or they would have been crucified by their members so many abstained which allowed the sellout to go through.

    These union leaders had a clear cut choice, back their members wishes or go with the wishes of Bligh and co so to not cruel their chances of promotion in the party in the future.

    By abstaining they not only betrayed their members but the Labor philosophy which proves that these people have no conviction…just what is required to become successful in the party structure.

    This has been a tragic event and does not bode well for the future of the relationship of the ones in power and the union movement.

  52. Tom

    “In this respect the behaviour of the unions is much the same as some big businesses realising that if they maximise their market position and profits at the expense of consumers it will attract a reaction.”

    Problem with that comment is that the previous government made it almost illegal for unions to take any action, while supporting big business in making more and more profits. The playing field was shifted dramatically.

    Funny, I don’t see the Banks or Electricity Companies or Petrol companies giving a rats arse about consumer reaction to their massive profits and rising charges.

  53. scaper

    I agree with your comments.

    As for my own opinion, I am dead against privatisation having seen the results inflicted on the population as a whole when it happens ( no surprise there to many of you). I voted for that woman but never again, leaving me with a dilemma at the next election unless the LNP can improve their overall policies.

  54. So scaper, let me get this correct – do the unions control the ALP or is the ALP in control of (at least) the union bosses?

    For the record, I too am against privatisation. The simple logic of it is that if the government cannot afford to keep the services running at the same cost to the consumer – the commercial interests are sure not going to be able to turn a profit with them. The only way to fix that is to cut costs &/or raise prices. Cost cutting only goes so far before you cut corners along with them. As companies push for higher profits – there always comes a time when the customer (i.e. we the people) get shafted.

    Not the subject of this article/debate though…

  55. Shane, did you notice not a whimper out of the LNP?

    Watch for Bligh’s next tactic…selling the water grid, her plan is to hand back management to the councils, let them mismanage it then call for it to be privatised.

    She is selling us out!

  56. Strange though that the unions quickly rolled over and let Bligh tickle their tummies as they agreed to her sell-off? Why? Who promised what?

    This ALP voter is becoming more and more dissillusioned with both state and Federal ALP governments as they make sillier and dumber decisions…

  57. Well then how come the polls are not showing that TB?

    I have a giggle whenever I read that claim, and it’s been made dozens of times over the last 18 months, and for years against State governments, yet when a poll comes out Labor hardly moves or improves from relatively high bases.

    Look at Pollytics and read the questions asked in the polls along the lines of are you satisfied with what the government is doing etc. The answers to those questions quickly shoot down the voters becoming disillusioned argument.

  58. scaper

    I did notice not a whimper from the LNP and I agree with you on the water grid too.

    What I could never understand is that there already was a pipeline to the Hinze Dam at the Gold Coast, but it only ran one way, from Brisbane to the GC. Why for gods sake could they not put a reverse pump in the bloody thing and pump back water when the dam was spewing millions of litres a day from its overflow 6 and 8 months ago. Would it be that hard scaper ?

  59. Mobius

    Voters like myself and TB can become disilliusioned. As for myself I will vote on the policies at the time of the next election. I voted against Keating when he sold the CBA. I voted against Howard as soon as he started selling off assets. I will vote against Bligh for the same reason. I may however not vote for the LNP but rather an independent and do my own preferences, which I do anyway.

  60. Voters like myself and TB can become disilliusioned.

    No-one doubts that, shane. Unfortunately for the world at large – we’re the political nuts who follow things closely. Most people don’t even start paying attention until the airwaves are blanketed in election advertising; by which time the “non-core promises” are flying and you can’t trust a word either side is saying.

    For the most part, things are going well for the average person on the street (given the global economic downturn) and things like privatisation only bite them when it is way to late to have a say in the matter.

  61. Mobius Ecko, on June 11th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I did say “this voter”, ME … and I’m used to being ahead of the pack! 😉 Bit like JMC – – – speaking of whom …?

    You might wantb to keep a copy of this little exchange …

    As for polls – not hard to ride high with little or no opposition …

  62. Shane, I’m not aware of a pipeline to the Hinze Dam but there is a pipeline to the Molendinar Reservoir which services the Gold Coast.

    One would think that there would be a reverse pumping line but there might be some engineering hurdles to jump and I’ll refer to an engineer friend who I consider to be the water guru of Australia.

    There seems to not be much out there in the media concerning the proposed Wyaralong Dam upstream from the Cedar Grove Weir which is strange.

  63. B.Tolputt – Still no comment on the informed and pertinent views of he late John Button.

  64. But back to business. The Australian has a good summary of what this is about..that is young people 14-18yrs being given the optional subject (trade subjects I should imagine) about your choices at work…

    What to do if you think that you’re not being paid the right amount. What to do if you think that you’re being harrassed. What to do if you think that the work you are asked to do is unsafe.

    Australia has a very awful record re exploitation of young people and so all information is useful. According to the Australian journo, parents have the option of whether or not they would like their child to learn about these things.

  65. The Daily Telegraph has four letters on this topic today – four in favour, three against.

  66. Joni..without being too much of a stickybeak..four for and three against what? Or does it require me to scroll back to something mentioned elsewhere?

  67. Tolputt, I believe the Labor Party is a democratic institution with a large proportion of union delegates.

    One would think that the unions have a major influence.

    At times these people seem not to be representative of the rank and file which to me should be their main concern.

    From what I know the funding might not be there that is expected by the Labor Party at the next election as far as the unions are concerned.

  68. Unions were/are born in the wake of poor management … and owners of businesses who don’t believe in sharing profits … simply exploiting labour … especially young labour …

    All high school children should be educated in the IR system – most adults don’t understand it …

    …however, it should be a three pronged approach government, employers representatives (unions) and employee representatives (unions) …

    …they all have a different perspective (tax, state and fed legislation, policies, procedures, protocols rights, responsibilities …)

  69. Still no comment on the informed and pertinent views of he late John Button.

    Still no realistic rebuttal from you on the case of Bligh. Your one line was a dismissal of the fact rather than dealing with it.

    That said, John Button’s observation was not that the ALP was controlled by unions – only that they have substantial influence over one particular part of it (the preselections). I have never stated that the ALP had no influence (I went so far as to state they have significant influence). I am simply debating your assertion they control the ALP. You have yet to provide proof of this – hand waving away any inconvenient facts as a performance or the more pathetic, unions chose not to exert control. In the case of Bligh they are threatening state-wide industrial action, but chose not to exert control on something the general member of the public would exalt them for (stopping the privatisation of public assets).

    When it comes to unions, Tom, you live in your own world divorced from reality. I’ve seen Scientologists with less capability to delude themselves.

  70. Once upon a time, a long time ago the Labor Party in Queensland was rent asunder on the issue of whether the Party could direct Premier Vincent Clare Gair (25 February 1901 – 11 November 1980) to introduce three weeks’ paid leave to workers under state industrial awards. Gair claimed that the state finances wouldn’t allow it.

    Like Bligh, Gair had just won an election but the Party insisted that ALP policy be implemented. At the subsequent election Frank Nicklin (CP) became Premier and for the first time in 25 years, a Labor Government was out of office in Queensland. The ALP would not return to power in Queensland until 1989.

    I am sure that the power figures in the ALP are well aware of that history and were not prepared to go down the track of over-ruling Bligh who has been mugged by the financial reality.

    Bligh of course has other options. She can cut wages of all public servants (there are historical precedents), close schools and hospitals (already does that but certainly accelerate same), raise taxes (which she will do but she could go much further) etc. Indeed the list of possibilities is long but many would lead to electoral annihilation.

    I’m certainly not happy with the ‘sell-off’ in certain areas but then again I haven’t access to the figures and won’t till the Budget is bought down.

  71. Your late, N5, expected you on the scene much earlier!

    Queensland nose dived from a decade of “booming state” to AA rating overnight – and I know there is a lot of infrastructure on the go – but AA – GMAB?

    …and I reiterate, the unions rolled over far too quickly with Bligh, somethings a bit smelly heading down the track … I reckon, hey? (apologies for Ruddism at the end there … but that’s how we talk up North, hey, N5?)

  72. Yes TB, I am late. Too many interests in the real world.

    booming state” to AA rating overnight – and I know there is a lot of infrastructure on the go – but AA – GMAB?

    TB, ratings agencies don’t like government activity nor do they like like government ownership. When Bligh announced a $15 billion spend on infrastructure, they simply reacted.

    Bligh is selling off some assets but will use some of the money realised to create new assets and she will use some of that money for recurrent expenditure which is always a worry. But with the collapse of mineral prices and the fall in volumes (both actual and predicted) she has little choice.

    As for the ‘unions rolling over too quickly’, I don’t think they had any other realistic choice. Remember Labor was out of power for 30 years and at one stage reduced to a cricket team in the Parliament and we had the Joh years. Some history always helps, particularly when it comes to decision making.

    But one thing seems certain the coming Budget measures will not be pretty.

  73. You’re grasping at straws B.Tolputt.

    When Hawke and Wran conducted their review of the ALP, branch members expressed particular disgruntlement with their complete inability to provide input into the party that they had voluntarily joined.

    Significantly the role of affiliated unions was a major factor in this dissatisfaction. Factional deal making was another.

    Hawke and Wran recommended that unions representation be reduced from 60% to (only!!!) 50%.

    The leader of the ALP at the time, Simon Crean decided that he should implement the report.

    Unions relentless attacked him, undermined his political position, poisoned him. They wanted a “rising star” – Martin Pakula!! What a star he has become.

    Unusually the unions didn’t get their man up. The former head of the ACTU struggled and eventually (only just) prevailed over an official of the local branch of a declining union.

    You might think the fact that Pakula was unsuccessful is proof of your position. To me it demonstrates the deep hatred unions hold for anyone that does not fall into line.

    There is always a price to be paid for standing in their way. Crean and Carr found this. So will Bligh, in due course.

  74. Tom of Melbourne, on June 11th, 2009 at 5:10 pm Said:

    There is always a price to be paid for standing in their way. Crean and Carr found this. So will Bligh, in due course.

    You failed to mention Rudd, Goss or Beattie. Or are they simply the exceptions that prove the rule?

    As for:

    demonstrates the deep hatred unions hold for anyone that does not fall into line.

    Tom, politics is about passion which generates the strong emotions of love and hate. ‘Hate’ is not confined to unions whether they be employers’ unions or workers’ unions and what seems clear the ‘hate’ the unions have is reciprocated by the ‘hated’.

    Tom is there anything you want to share?

  75. Nature 5, on June 11th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Yes TB, I am late. Too many interests in the real world

    I empathise! More than you know! 😀 What a stupid word “retirement” is …

    ————-

    N5, I understand your “argument” re history but sometimes reality has to kick in (and you make your own history) … and I remember Sir Joh very well … met him (briefly) twice … very strange, fuhrer type …

    … as for the present … not only will we lose income earning assets now and particularly in the future (the boom times will return) but we will have paid for the sold off assets and be paying higher fees now and into the future …

    … why not put fees up short term and ride out the recession … and then reduce ’em …

    … too much free market enterprise for me – that’s what got us into this mess in the first place – and I notice “memories” are getting “fuzzier” by the day as the cycle begins again …

    … electricity is a classic example of “privatisation” – why can’t politicians understand that a “retailer” adds extra costs (shareholder returns, profit, additional salaries and wages, advertising etc) …

  76. You’re grasping at straws B.Tolputt.

    *laughing uncontrollably* Man, you are a riot Tom!

    At the risk of repeating myself… Pot meet kettle. You are floundering around without backing because two leaders of the ALP have, within a week, defied your theory of them being “controlled by the unions”. Your only response is that Gillard is acting and that Bligh will “pay the price in due time”.

    Face the fact that whether the unions or you want to believe it or not – the unions do not control the ALP. If they did, they wouldn’t be defied so openly by the leaders of the ALP.

    The only thing that has been proven by you in this debate is that you cannot or will not face facts when it comes to unions. I’m waiting for your inevitable “Well unions work in mysterious ways”, as faith is all you got going for you in this one.

  77. TB Queensland, on June 11th, 2009 at 5:41 pm Said:

    you make your own history

    Only up to a point because to some extent we are also a product of our history. I see Bligh in the Goss/Beattie era, both of whom were intent (fanatically so) on being financially responsible. Bligh doesn’t want to go down in history as the person who bankrupted the State. Rather she will join the list of those who have sold off state assets, the criticism of which is less enduring. Now who was it that sold off those 90 plus Butcher shops? Pubs? Fish Shops?

    I wonder how long people will remember that she sold off Ports and toll-ways.as opposed to ‘she sent the State broke’. I’m sure she well remembers her ideological soul-mate Joan Kirner’s historical depiction when it comes to finance, unfair as it may be.

    As for:

    why not put fees up short term and ride out the recession … and then reduce ‘em

    Make no mistake, fees will go up significantly but proposed asset sales (over five years) are also likely to at least give some credibility to the Forward Estimates.

    The irony is that Bligh, if not in Parliament would also be on the streets, voicing concerns. As I say, mugged by reality.

  78. Ummm…lamb biryani for tea tonight.

  79. Logical argument, N5, but not convinced … but then my background is in business not politics … or PS …

    … easy to play with other people’s money …

    … if this is one of the two (China’s ‘tother one apparently) not in recession and doing “well”, Gawd help the rest of the world – that we are about to follow BTW – anybody that thinks handing out $900 stopped the tsunami hitting Australia is in for a rude shock next year …

    Nice playing in the sandpit again … dinner calls (well, The Minister, actually) Snappy Tom tonight, I think …

  80. B.Tolputt, you seem to wish to choose to miss the point.

    There is no countervailing force within the ALP to balance the unions. It is only through unions wishing to maintain the viability of the political wing of their labour movement that acts as a balance.

    Internally there is no balance. Leaders may use political reality to force acquiescence on unions. That’s all, in these circumstance unions simply decide not to exert their control.

    Try to understand the forms of power at play.

  81. Nothing particularly that I need to share N5. Merely a humble observer of the insidious political nature of union officials and the handbrake they apply to progressive thinking within the ALP!!

  82. TB Queensland, on June 11th, 2009 at 6:23 pm Said

    Logical argument, N5, but not convinced

    Pity. Next time, I will try illogical arguments. Lol.

    As for:

    if this is one of the two (China’s ‘tother one apparently) not in recession

    There’s a few more than that. Apart from China the Asian economies, apart from Japan are still in positive territory as are some of the ‘oil rich’ nations apparently. And India is still doing rather well.

    BTW the share market was down to about 3100 and is now about 4000 plus. Up about 1/3, I take it you ‘saw’ the bottom and have now made a killing. Lol. As for me I am now down only about 15% for the year. But who knows the future?

  83. Actually, Tom, it is you who do not wish to see the point.

    I have not taken an “absolute” stand like you have. I fully appreciate and admit that unions have substantial influence in the ALP. It is not my position (nor has it ever been) that they are not a strong (if not the strongest) faction in the Labor Party.

    All I needed to do to prove your claim that “unions control the ALP” false was to show instances where the members of the ALP clearly, openly, & successfully defied the unions’ wishes. I did that.

    Your response has been, whenever forced to make a stand on such an example, to claim it is a conspiracy (i.e. Gillards defiance was just “a performance”) or rely on some nebulous future threat the unions will pose to Bligh (a currently unprovable claim).

    To win your argument you rely on logical fallacies (ironic coming from the pointer of the “ad hominem” finger so recently) & unprovable claims. That is the hallmark of a religious apologist or conspiracy theorist; neither of which has much credibility in discussions such as these.

  84. Tom of Melbourne, on June 11th, 2009 at 6:29 pm Said:

    Nothing particularly that I need to share

    Tom I am sure that there is no need but is there a want as the counsellors always ask apparently?

    As for Button, I always had time for him but I don’t think his views should be reified. In many ways, Button’s elevation and success can be seen as evidence that ‘unions’ don’t and didn’t determine the way the ALP operates, at least in any mechanistic sense. (But I do concede that Branch Membership seems a waste of time regardless of the political party involved.)

    For my part I have never been a member of any Political Party. Some might give meaning to that fact along the lines of: ‘Lacks courage of convictions’ while other might say: ‘Well he has some standards’. Lol.

  85. Well N5, I think the contribution of John Button to the ALP structure is often overlooked. Without the support of the Victorian Independents, which included Button, Richard McGarvie and John Cain, Whitlam would have been unable to reform the party in the late 60s and win government.

    During my period of active involvement in the ALP, and a little after, I was quite well acquainted with Button. He was an outstanding contributor to the ALP, and a very innovative minister. His later intervention in the debate about the party structure should be seen in the context of his experience almost 40 years earlier.

    The preselection system now means that people like Button cannot win a seat. I suspect his comments were lamenting this.

    B.Tollputt – I think your comments really show your almost complete ignorance of the ALP. Unions do not form a faction, quite a ridiculous comment.

    There are right wing unions and left wing unions. The full time union officials are generally the only group that is able to devote the time to factional organising activities.

    Unions, organised into factions, significantly control the factions, through this they exchange their orderly preselection deals. If their cross factional deals isn’t control of the political party, then I’ll use run, command or rule.

    As I suggested the only balance to the union control is external to the party – public opinion on which a leader may ,or may not, be able to exercise some personal authority. There is no structured internal balance.

  86. Tom, you are trying to divert away from the central issue – that being you made an absolute statement you cannot back-up with facts.

    As you well know, there are more than just left & right factions. There are many overlapping factions based on left vs right, loyalty to power-brokers, commitment to specific policies. The ALP is made up of more than just unions/unionists – as such, the union movement is one such faction that is split up by and overlaps other factions.

    But hey, let’s not divert from the central issue you cannot seem to face. It is obvious, from two recent examples, that the unions do no “control” the ALP. Your lack of factual rebuttal is quite telling.

    Your only response to the factual evidence boils down to faith-based nonsense; namely:
    That’s just what they want us to think (i.e. Gillard’s performance)
    Just you wait, they’ll get her later (i.e. Bligh’s defiance)

    The fact that you, who was so adamant about the ad hominem attacks just a day or two ago, cannot argue your own statement without resorting to circular reasoning (unions control the ALP, therefore when Gillard defied them it must be an act) and faith-based statements (Bligh is not being attacked for her defiance now, but we should take your word it will happen sometime in the future) is deliciously ironic.

  87. Tom of Melbourne, on June 11th, 2009 at 9:26 pm Said:

    Without the support of the … Independents … been unable to reform the party .. and win government.

    Also true in Queensland. Without the efforts of Denis Murphy et al., Labor (probably) would never have won in QLD. (Sadly he died before his time.)

    Due to his efforts nevertheless, there were a number of ‘independents’ who were successful including Goss, Braddy and the like. But I admit that since that time there has been a relapse of sorts, even Braddy was forced to be nominally aligned and vote accordingly as a condition for his preselection.

    But I still think you overstate the unions’ power to dominate. ‘Merit’ can still win through. Rudd is a classic example (no union support and indeed outright opposition) as was Beattie, and now Bligh is the Premier despite AWU ‘hatred’ of the Left of which she is officially a member.

    Yes the ‘unions’ still have the whip hand but in many ways it’s more symbolic rather than concrete.

  88. B.Tolputt, on June 11th, 2009 at 9:54 pm Said:

    about the ad hominem attacks

    Well I know it’s OT but the concept of <b Inverse ad hominem seems to fly below the radar and it’s particularly relevant when it comes to such issues such as Button’s credibility re the ALP but more relevant re Plimer and Global Warming.

    An inverse ad hominem argument praises a source in order to add support for that source’s argument or claim. A fallacious inverse ad hominem argument may go something like this:

    “That man was smartly-dressed and charming, so I’ll accept his argument that I should vote for him”

    Because Button was ‘good’, then everything he utters must also be ‘good’. really? Because Plimer, the geologist, is a scientist, then every statement he makes must be scientifically valid. Really?

    Simply, the Inverse ad hominem stance is just as fallacious and misleading as the ad hominem approach.

  89. B.Tolputt, you simply choose to miss the point because it doesn’t conform to your preconceived view of the ALP.

    Unions run the ALP factions because the rank and file membership are not organised and have day jobs. Many union officials spend much of their time organising the deals within the party.

    They run the agenda. Politically and industrially. That doesn’t mean that they act in lock step. They don’t.

    But there is no counter balance to unions within the ALP. If there is please identify it.

    The balance is caused externally, the political leaders react to public opinion and union officials accommodate this.

    The fact that they accommodate public opinion from time to time doesn’t mean that they relinquish control.

    N5, taking more 20 winnable seats in succession is more than the “whip hand” in my view.

    But that’s it from me for the night.

  90. There is a counter balance, ToM, it’s called celebrity.

  91. As you have shown, day-after-day Tom – the person with the strongest preconceived view of unions & the ALP is yourself. Mine is flexible, and willing to be changed. Yours starts with the foundation the “ALP is controlled by unions” and everything must agree with that fact.

    Simply put, the ALP leaders have publicly, openly, & successfully defied that so-called control. Your only responses to that are logically fallacious and as such do nothing to prove your contention.

    You duck, weave, and try diversions wherever possible. Your current diversion is trying to get others to prove some “counter balance” in the party. I don’t need to do that – I only need to show (as I have done) that the union’s wishes are defied openly & successfully. You claim was not “the unions can control the ALP” but was the absolute unions control the ALP”. One is provable, the other is conjecture. You are relying on conjecture and logical fallacies in some hope to avoid backing down over an absolute statement no-one (but yourself) would have an issue with stating was not 100% correct.

  92. (It also presumes that there is something wrong with unions exercising control over the ALP, and through the ALP, over aspects of the Australian political, social and economic landscapes…I’m not sure that the case for absolute turpitude on the parts of unions (of Australian people) has been made, excepting the reification and unions-boo 😉 .)

  93. The fact that you, who was so adamant about the ad hominem attacks just a day or two ago, cannot argue your own statement without resorting to circular reasoning (unions control the ALP, therefore when Gillard defied them it must be an act) and faith-based statements (Bligh is not being attacked for her defiance now, but we should take your word it will happen sometime in the future) is deliciously ironic.

    In Tom’s defence, and my own, it was I, not Tom, who pointed out the fallaciousness of ad hominem arguments, on the Steve Fielding thread, starting at this comment.

    It is quite obvious that some here are confusing “Tom of Melbourne” with “Tony”. We are two different commenters. It might help if Tom were to get himself a (distinctive) avatar.

  94. My apologies, Tony. That said, while the irony is gone, he is still using circular reasoning & faith-based statements in an attempt to prove his argument. Would you not agree?

  95. Ah, the mysteries of the rational-emotive dipole(s). Poor Spock, would it be better if he was less Vulcan and more Earthen, or, more Vulcan and less Earthen, in his evaluations of the margins of error? (a point not lost when evaluating the Godzilla squad’s IOUs and UOMEs for IODs, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.)

  96. Um, Legion? You’re making even less sense than normal…

  97. B.Tolputt – what a silly commentary.

    I’ve identify comments consistent with my own, of a former ALP luminary, one how was involved in continual efforts to moderate the control exercised by unions, to deliver the accountability to the people that join the party.

    I have also outlined that unions have 50% of the vote in any committee or preselection. I provided the case study of their reaction when their vote was reduced from 60%.

    All you rely on is that parliamentary political leaders have a transient influence on the party based on their electoral success.

    You should check the dictionary. Find “influence” and ‘control”, a body doesn’t relinquish control simply by allowing another to influence it.

  98. what a silly commentary.

    Yes, because your clichéd rants about unions are always to be take seriously. There is a reason people on the blog make fun of your position on unions… you might want to think that over.

    As to your other comments, let’s pull them apart shall we.

    I’ve identify comments consistent with my own, of a former ALP luminary, one how was involved in continual efforts to moderate the control exercised by unions, to deliver the accountability to the people that join the party.

    This is known as argumentum ad verecundiam or Appeal to Authority. Because someone we are meant to respect & admire believes something – we also should. It is not proof, it is opinion and an attempt at manipulating your audience through their feelings of respect.

    I have also outlined that unions have 50% of the vote in any committee or preselection. I provided the case study of their reaction when their vote was reduced from 60%.

    This is known as Ignoratio elenchi or irrelevant conclusion. No-one is stating that they are not influential, nor that they have no problems with having their vote reduced. Your “proof” is only that unions have control over preselection of delegates (not over the party as a whole) and don’t like their influence diminished. That they have this influence is not in debate – it is whether that influence is enough for & is exercised as control.

    All you rely on is that parliamentary political leaders have a transient influence on the party based on their electoral success.

    Incorrect. I have shown proof against your absolute statement. Had you stated “the ALP is often controlled by unions” or “the unions have enough influence to control the ALP” – I would not be able to use the two events as such. However, your statement was “They (the unions) control the ALP” – not they can control or sometimes control. No qualifiers at all were used.

    That you cannot back down from such an absolute statement shows your fanaticism. All you need to do to shut down my side of the debate is realise and state that the absolute statement of yours is an exaggeration (however slight). However, it is obvious your pride and inability to back down where unions are concerned get in the road of that.

    You should check the dictionary. Find “influence” and ‘control”, a body doesn’t relinquish control simply by allowing another to influence it.

    *laughing* Shall we read again the definition you gave us for control?

    Control – to exercise power or authority over something such as a business or nation

    The salient point has been highlighted for you. It is not enough that the unions have the capability of control for your statement to be proven true by your arguments (and against mine). You statement had no qualifiers, therefore I only need to show instances where the unions did not exercise power / authority over the ALP. That they have the possibility for control is not in debate – that they have unqualified control is. They obviously don’t, as I have proven.

  99. It makes no difference to me whether you accept reality or not, or whether you accept my experience and opinion or not.

    You seem to lack the actual experience in a political party to exercise the judgement about such matters in any event.

    Perhaps if you got out into the real world occasionally and tried reading books other than a thesaurus.

  100. As always, Tom – your pride & union hatred get in the road of the stark reality that you are wrong. That you cannot back down from such an absurd absolute statement is actually quite funny.

    For the record, a thesaurus would probably not contain the terms I used. They are the proper names for the logical fallacies you tried passing off as “proof” and are in latin. Not that it matters what languages I use to show your spin, but it amused me to utilise the debating terms I learnt in high school & university.

  101. You seem to lack the actual experience in a political party to exercise the judgement about such matters in any event.

    Perhaps if you got out into the real world occasionally and tried reading books other than a thesaurus.

    Oh, for the record – that’s known as argumentum ad hominem or attacking the man.

    You claim a lack of real-world experience renders me incapable of judgement and by implication my arguments are not valid. Whereas I show your arguments lacking and from them imply you are incapable of judgement in regards to unions. That and your vehemence against anything related to unions is a well-known & oft used joke hereabouts 😛

  102. Not at all, you simply take a simplistic view of what control actually represents.

    In the more complex reality, control does not simply mean “getting your way on every occasion” or requiring policies to be adopted. This seems to be your version of control, not mine.

    Bodies in control of organisations may or may not require accommodation of immediate priorities, or they may take a longer term view of protecting their own interests, whether this be political, industrial or business.

    I have never suggested that the affiliated unions only take a short term view of their own interests in the manner in which they exercise their 50% vote in all ALP forums.

    You seem to confuse a short term insistence on a position with a body that seeks to preserve its interests over time.

    You are simply unwilling to contemplate the fundamental power structure that operates in the ALP, you don’t even bother to address yourself to this basic point.

  103. Not at all, you simply take a simplistic view of what control actually represents.

    You really amuse me. You gave a definition for control. I used your definition. No matter how you spin it (or try to change the definition of “control”) – you are wrong

    What you describe above is “influence”, not control…

    Influence
    1. A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort: relaxed under the influence of the music; the influence of television on modern life.
    2. Power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position: used her parent’s influence to get the job.

  104. As I’ve indicated you simply decline to actually consider the reality of the power structure operating within the ALP.

  105. As I’ve indicated – you simply decline to face the fact you made an absolute statement without capability of backing it up (without resorting to ad hominem attacks, circular reasoning, appeals to authority, and/or changing the definition of control you gave us).

    That your pride / union-hatred prevents you from admitting that is just very amusing 😀

  106. I don’t suffer from excess pride or hatred. You simply obfuscate, and are unable to face the reality that your opinion is just narrow and simplistic.

  107. Tom

    From an observer – you stated (and continue to state) that the unions have complete control over the ALP – and that is just not true!

    Do the unions influence the ALP? Yes
    Do the unions control the ALP? No.

  108. Control – manage, organise, be in command of, rule, manipulate, influence, restrain, contain, monitor, check, limit, inspect, to limit or restrict somebody or something, ability or authority to manage something.

    I really don’t see why my use of the word should be particularly contentious.

  109. I don’t suffer from excess pride or hatred

    Well, I may be wrong there and am open to other reasons why you cannot admit you are wrong. The fact you are wrong and cannot/will not admit it still stand. Given your history of attacking the unions whenever they come up on this blog, my opinion is that you cannot give way on subjects regarding them (something I contribute to pride & hatred of unions). In any case, it is not something I care being proven wrong about and will admit freely I don’t know that pride & union hatred are the reasons, just that I think they are.

    You simply obfuscate, and are unable to face the reality that your opinion is just narrow and simplistic.

    Actually, in an argument – it is up to the claimant to prove their assertion. You asserted that “unions control the ALP”. You defined (not I) that control was “to exercise power or authority over something such as a business or nation”. Those two combined form a very narrow & simple statement – I simply proved that to be false.

    You have, in the meantime, proven that other people (respectable or otherwise) think the unions have too much influence, that the unions have control of half committee pre-selections, and that unions do not like their influence being diminished. I am willing to agree that all of these are true. That is still, however, obfuscation of the issue.

    Given the fact that both Gillard & Bligh have openly & successfully defied union wishes, none of what present is enough to prove your absolute statement. At best, they can indicate that when Gillard & Bligh successfully defied them – the unions lost control of the ALP.

    Your statement was simple, narrow, and without any qualifiers. It only takes a single counter example to show it false. I provided two.

  110. By the way, did I say “compete control”?

  111. Now you are using a thesaurus! Oh this is rich! 😀

    For the record, you provide words/phrases that are not the “definition” of control, but hold similar meaning. Hell, you are using the word “influence” which we both know is not the same as control (similar but not the same).

    You are trying to wheedle out of your own simple, straight-forward statement. But the fact remains that you stated “unions control the ALP”. No matter how hard you try to duck or weave around that – you stated it and it is provably false.

  112. And I say your view of “control’ suggests that only narrow short term view is taken. Not one where those in control seek to preserve the strength of a organisation.

    Unions can decide to exercise their control, but this may be to the political detriment of their party, so they exercise restraint.

    In no way does exercising judgment and restraint mean that control is relinquished.

    Bligh got her way with a level of union acquiescence. As has been pointed out, unions have leant from the bitter experience of their past experience in insisting on implementation of a policy.

    Similarly with Gillard. Unions want this government, so they won’t direct it to swallow electoral poison. Again this doesn’t mean lack of control.

    The fact that they don’t demand implementation of a position, for long term political reasons, in no way suggests that the unions collectively don’t control the political party.

  113. Tom

    It is contentious because we all know you truly believe the Unions CONTROL the ALP.

    Control implys exactly that control and that is your opinion not a fact. Especially when they only have a 50% vote.

    If you attend a meeting and there are 2 directors and each has a 50% vote how can you claim that one has a controlling interest.

    If you attend a meeting and there are 6 directors and 1 has a 50% vote and 5 have a 10% vote, once again how can you claim that one has a controlling interest.

    One needs 51% to have a controlling interest. Why do you think only 49% of QANTAS is permitted to be owned by foreigners. So that foreigners do not have a controlling interest to dictate their terms.

    Unions may try to influence, manipulate, contain, monitor, check, limit, inspect, restrain or any other word you throw at the unions and I would agree with you but as for Control I disagree. I would also contest to you that all of these words are equally applicable to big business and unions in their dealings with both political parties and the Government of the day.

  114. And you above definition of control conflicts with the one you gave earlier. It also conflicts with your use of the word in the statement.

    The statement was “They (the unions) control the ALP”. This is of the form {pro-noun} {verb} {definate article} {proper noun}. In other words, you were using the word control as a verb which has the definition you gave earlier.

    In your above post, you are using control as a noun. Namely that the unions have control over the ALP. In that case a different definition applies:

    Control – (noun) Authority or ability to manage or direct:

    That “unions have control of/over the ALP” is not being debated here. For me to prove that false, I would need to prove there is no possibility of them exerting their ability to manage or direct the ALP. As I cannot (nor wish to) do so – that statement stands uncontested. Sadly for you, that is not the statement being debated.

    The statement being debated is the one you gave much earlier, probably as a flippant remark, being “unions control the ALP”. That statement is easy to prove false by providing a single example where the unions are not controlling the ALP – such as in the case of Bligh & Gillard recently.

    In other words, your last post was an attempt at semantics or equivocation – where you try to apply two different meanings of a word in the same argument. That you tried to change the definition of control as you used it in your initial statement is pretty bad. That you tried to use a thesaurus to do so is straight-up hilarious!

  115. Regardlees, you simply decline to deal with the facts, and stick to your short term, narrrow and inaccurate view of definition.

    The narrowness of your thinking, and the inability to respond to reality, that is genuine, first class comedy!

  116. of definition..

    I mean of “control”

  117. Regardless, you simply decline to deal with the facts, and stick to your short term, narrow and inaccurate view of definition.

    Right. Because using the narrow definitions of words as found in a dictionary is so detrimental to my argument! Hang on…

    “Insoluble metastasis incredible roof-tile.” Better?

    The narrowness of your thinking, and the inability to respond to reality, that is genuine, first class comedy!

    Pot meet kettle (sorry joni, I know it’s repetitive, but Tom keeps providing new material!). All it would take is for you to admit the statement in question was incomplete or more absolute than you intended. But you can’t do that, can you? No, that would mean backing down on a unions-related subject.

  118. “I know it’s repetitive, but Tom keeps providing new material”

    Exactly, you keep repeating your simplistic explanation, I continue to intelligently justify my explanation.

    Try this analogy.

    When a CEO advises the board that he will resign if they pursue an approach that the CEO does not recommend and the board agrees with the CEO, has the board lost control of the company?

    Or have they exercised some sensible discretion in the long term interests of the business and themselves, and have therefore retained control?

    I think the latter.

  119. Ben – no apologies needed – I am enjoying watching Tom trying to justify that his definition of “control” means “no control”.

    I just don’t understand why Tom thinks it is so important – it’s not like it is a secret that the ALP and unions are hand in hand.

  120. Exactly, you keep repeating your simplistic explanation, I continue to intelligently justify my explanation.

    Actually, you keep trying to divert attention away from the absolute statement you made into fuzzier areas in which there is no argument.

    An analogy is me stating “God is great” and then proving that God’s creation is great. They are related, they sound the same, but the proof of one does not necessarily imply the other.

    Try this analogy.

    When a CEO advises the board that he will resign if they pursue an approach that the CEO does not recommend and the board agrees with the CEO, has the board lost control of the company?

    Or have they exercised some sensible discretion in the long term interests of the business and themselves, and have therefore retained control?

    You are trying again to mix the two definitions of control. It is impossible to “lose” a verb. Hence when you ask “has the board lost control of the company”, you are working with the noun version of word control – which I have stated above is not something I am debating.

    Replacing the word control in your question with the verb definition (which we are debating), the sentence becomes:

    has the board lost exercise of power/authority over the company?

    To which the answer is – yes. Whilst the board may technically retain control (noun) over the company – the exercise of power/authority (i.e. verb control) is now in the hands of the CEO.

    And because it never gets old – Tom, you are wrong. By your own definition of the word “control” as used in your own statement. The fact you are still trying to twist the definition of the word shows how desperate you are to avoid admitting this.

  121. @joni:
    I don’t know why it is so important either. I believe it is because he cannot stand to back down over the subject of his foe – the unions.

  122. You prefer to duck and weave rather than address yourself to the issue.

    This is clearly because you have no understanding of the issues itself.

    Firstly you stated that I was “a Howard supporter”. You were wrong.

    Then you attributed some discussion to me that you’d been having with someone else (Tony). Wrong again.

    Then you thought unions form a faction within the ALP(!!) Amazingly and breathtakingly WRONG.

    You should stick to swimming in the shallow end of the pool.

  123. *laugh* 😀
    Wow, you are desperate now. None of your claims above (true or false) have any bearing on your statement being provable false. None whatsoever.

    In other words, regardless of what you think of me, regardless of if I have been wrong on every single other thing I have ever argued / claimed on this blog – you are still wrong, Tom.

    The sheer lengths you go to avoid accepting this is very amusing and a reflection of your inability to back down, regardless of the merits against the case you are arguing.

    Let me restate, for your benefit, the issue. You claimed “they (the unions) control the ALP”. You provided a definition for control (and, as used in your statement, it was for the verb version of the word). You have not and logically cannot prove your statement true in the face of recent actions by Gillard & Bligh. You have tried changing the definition of the word control, you have tried reflecting the proof of burden (which rests with the person making the assertation – yourself), you have tried changing the argument, and you have tried attacking me and other arguments I have made. None of which proves your case.

    You are wrong, Tom. You’re inability to accept that fact on such a small, insignificant sentence implies (though doesn’t prove) there is a very sad little man behind your keyboard.

  124. B.Tolput – Your behaviour is bizarre, and bordering on obsessive compulsive.

    You refuse to address yourself in the specifics, instead relying on Wikipedia to explain various forms of discussion and debate. You continually try these diversionary tactics to conceal you’re the knowledge and experience you obviously lack.

    Your previous comments simply illustrate that you have no comprehension of the workings of the ALP and unions, and are unwilling to consider the reality of how it operates.

    Unions are a “powerful faction”?

    Wiping away tears of laughter at your obvious inadequate understanding and ignorance – do some basic research, then try again.

  125. LOL – Tom saying that Ben is an “obsessive compulsive”. Whenever unions are mentioned Tom jumps in with his “unions control ALP = bad” meme.

    Too funny.

    The point that you (Tom) do not want to concede is that unions DO NOT control the ALP – they influence, they guide, they push – BUT THEY DO NOT CONTROL.

  126. Joni that is simply an opinion that you hold. I don’t share it and I consider my own to be based on reality.

    Ben simply seeks to use obfuscation, and under graduate student union style debating methods as his own knowledge base is entirely inadequate in this area.

    He adds nothing to discussion other than competence in the use of Wikipedia.

  127. Once again, diverting away from the fact that you are wrong.

    It matters not what other mistakes I have made. As I have already stated, I can be wrong on every other claim & argument I have ever made on this blog and you would still be wrong.

    By the very definition of the verb “control” you gave and through recent actions by Gillard & Bligh’s actions – your statement “They (the unions) control the ALP” is provably false.

    Feel free to attack me in any fashion you like. It bothers me not and shows your desperation 😛 You cannot escape the fact that you are wrong, it has been proven, and your recalcitrance in admitting it is a poorer reflection of yourself than anything you could say about me 🙂

  128. Tom

    I dunno – you look like tjhe silly one because you will not admit that the unions do not “control” the ALP – because there are plenty of examples that show that your opinion is just not true. False. Wrong.

    The unions do have an influence but they do not control.

  129. under graduate student union style debating

    *laughing out loud* Unions = bad meme still going strong.

    For the record – I have not touched Wikipedia. I don’t need to. Feel free to prove me wrong on that… and unless you have a key logger installed on my machine – that should be pretty damn hard.

    Your statement was not made in the form of an opinion. You did not state “I think unions control the ALP” or “In my opinion, the unions control the ALP”. You said “They (the unions) control the ALP” – no qualifiers.

    You have no idea how ridiculous it looks that you cannot back down do you?

  130. Joni – and as I’ve continually outlined, organisations can exercise control without insisting that they get their own way on every occasion. Organisational control is different to intervening and insisting that each decision and every point is won and implemented.

    You and Ben seem unwilling to consider this point, neither of you have yet responded to it.

    Unions exercise their control when they want, preselection for winnable seats for example. This is a jewel they desire, so they take it when they want.

    In other circumstances they may decide to accept the advice of political leaders about what is in the longer term interests of the political wing of their party. As I’ve said this does not mean they relinquish their control or authority.

    The ALP rules state that they have 50% of every vote in party forums. In this circumstance the onus is on you or Ben to demonstrate how control is exercised in the party, and which part of the organisation it is that provides the counterbalance to the unions.

  131. Ah – now it is about “organisational control”!

    The implication of your meme (unions control the ALP) is that the unions completely control the ALP – which is something that we refute.

    Additionally – nothing about this is is new information – the general public knows the connection between the ALP and unions and they do not care! Or maybe they do care and are happy with the fact that unions and the ALP are linked. To act as a counterweight to the business unions influence over the Liberal party.

  132. Joni – since when have you insisted on absolute precision of language?

    Is this another new rule that you are willing to apply to yourself?

    If any contributor had to fully explain context and provide comprehensive definition of terminology used in making a comment…

    Well, I’ll just have to check yours particularly to ensure conformance with your own brand new lofty standard.

  133. In every instance above – you used the noun version of the word ‘control’. This is not the definition used in the statement we hold incorrect. Again, trying to divert from the issue at hand.

    As for it being our onus to prove anything – that’s a major fallacy right there. We are not the ones making the claim, you are. You made the statement “unions control the ALP”. It was easy to show where that was wrong and that has been done (numerous times).

    I’m not interested in debating whether unions have control. I’ve already conceded that fact as obvious. That is using the noun definition of the word ‘control’ which means the ability to assert power/authority over the subject.

    I will re-iterate because, for some reason, you just don’t want to get it. The statement made & proven false is “unions control the ALP”. That is the verb use of ‘control’ there. Without qualifiers, a single instance of the unions not exercising their power/authority renders the statement false. Simply stating that you misspoke and that “unions can control the ALP” or that “unions control the ALP most of the time” would render our proof moot. But you just can’t back down where unions are concerned.

    You are coming across as pathetic now, Tom.

  134. Not a standard mate – it is something that you have stated – and Ben has been trying to get you to admit that it is not absolute control that you keep stating.

    All Ben has been saying is that it is not control – it is influence – and that the public does not care.

    Oh – and no I will not apply it to myself – because when I say things are my opinion – I am careful to say that it is my opinion – not that it is a fact.

  135. Actually, I’ve never argued that the public does not care. I believe it, but I won’t assert it as fact as it becomes something I have to prove & would require interviewing at least half the population 🙂

    That said, you are correct on my other claims. I’ve conceded (without any argument) that the ALP is strongly influenced by unions, that the unions have control over the ALP, and that the unions control nomination of half the ALP delegates.

    I am simply sticking with the one provably false claim Tom has made. That is, “unions control the ALP”. A statement made phrased as a statement of fact, not an opinion and made without any qualifications.

  136. apologies ben – you are right it is my opinion that the public does not care.

    😉

  137. The rules of evidence in the court of Blogocrats have just been tightened another turn. (Must we really preface each statement with ‘in my opinion’ or ‘in fact’?)

  138. Not at all. Tom simply refuses to state that it is only his opinion that “unions control the ALP”. That it is his opinion, nobody debates. He simply cannot back down and state that, as a fact, it is has been proven false.

  139. You of all people, Tony, should agree that making broad statements such as Tom’s should allow for rebuttal or the admission it is only opinion.

  140. When challenged on a statement, yes, one should produce evidence or concede that it’s the writer’s opinion, but not as a matter of course. Of course some things can’t be conclusively poven, and so can only ever be one writer’s opinion against another’s.

  141. Quite correct. I challenged Tom’s statement and he has yet to concede it is opinion only *shrug*

  142. Joni – “absolute control that you keep stating”

    Now you are just inventing comments, after taking me to task for precision of language.

    You also used “complete control” earlier.

    Both are your inventions.

    Or prove otherwise.

    I’ll look forward to your retraction, back down. After all that’s the standard you’ve

  143. Given you expect retractions from joni, when can I expect the admission that “unions control the ALP” is only your opinon? You wouldn’t want to be called a hypocrite now would you?

  144. Oh for fuck’s sake what the hell are you lot on about..???

    🙄

  145. *laugh* Simply pursuing the validity of a comment made near the start of the thread. Most of the thread has been diversions and mock outrage. I’d be happy for Tom to admit he made a statement regarding his opinion, not fact… but if the lengths he’s gone to so far are any indication – I think that’s not going to happen 😛

  146. As for this nonsesnse – “he has yet to concede it is opinion only”

    Try my earlier comments – “that is simply an opinion that you hold. I don’t share it and I consider my own to be based on reality.” Or “I think the latter.” Or “As I suggested the only balance to the union control is external to the party”

    All are clear statements of opinion. Again you are wrong.

    I’ll also now accept your retraction.

  147. Which one of them was in reference to the statement “unions control the ALP”?

    Clarification of the above:

    Joni that is simply an opinion that you hold. I don’t share it and I consider my own to be based on reality.

    Directed at joni in regards to a previous post where several opinions were expressed.

    When a CEO advises the board that he will resign if they pursue an approach that the CEO does not recommend and the board agrees with the CEO, has the board lost control of the company?

    Or have they exercised some sensible discretion in the long term interests of the business and themselves, and have therefore retained control?

    I think the latter.

    Whoops, that would be in reference to your analogy then…

    As I suggested the only balance to the union control is external to the party

    Says nothing about whether the statement “unions control the ALP” is an opinion or otherwise. That was talking about balance in the party, something that was never being debated by myself.

    I await your apology and/or an unequivocal statement that “unions control the ALP” was your opinion only, not a statement of fact.

  148. That you will try mixing & matching quotes to prevent from having to retract the statement as fact highlights the problem.

  149. “The rules of evidence in the court of Blogocrats have just been tightened another turn. (Must we really preface each statement with ‘in my opinion’ or ‘in fact’?”TOSY

    I think not, such prefacing is a(n) (unrealistic) bastard of an idea.

    Which leads me to what reb said…

    “Oh for fuck’s sake what the hell are you lot on about..???”

    Which is perfect. Note the subtle (ab)use of extra question marks to convey gravitas????????????????

    So Tom has beef with Union “Influence”. My beloved CFMEU is currently in the process of securing me a fantastically opulent payrise in pending EBA negotiations.
    I say so what.

  150. Please identify where I have asserted “fact” rather than informed opinion.

    I’ll also look forward to joni’s explanation of his misrepresentation or mistake.

    But that’s it from me. I’m off.

  151. Nobody is asking for the rules as outlined by ToSY. The simple courtesy of admitting something is your opinion only when challenged on an otherwise unqualified statement is all that is being asked for.

    Nobody really cares that Tom has a beef against unions. It’s been a known joke since Blogocracy days. That he stubbornly cannot or will not state that it is his opinion, not fact, illustrates a lack of credibility.

  152. Please identify where I have asserted “fact” rather than informed opinion.

    Show me where you have asserted the statement is informed opinion & not fact. A statement made in a debate without qualifications is, by default, not expressing either and can reasonably be assumed as a statement of fact. I have not hidden this assumption at all, you have failed to once clarify the statement as opinion.

    *laugh* Of course, when forced into a corner where you must admit to it being opinion or stand up for your claim – you turn tail & flee.

  153. Personally I don’t think that Tom ought to be obliged to fess up to his hatred of unions as being “just his opinion”

    Everybody knows that I hate Christians.

    It’s just a foregone conclusion..

    To suggest that we ought to preface our views by justifying our heart-held beliefs each and every time we want to say something would be impractical and unrealistic.

  154. “That he stubbornly cannot or will not state that it is his opinion, not fact, illustrates a lack of credibility.:BT

    I am inclined to agree with you on most things Ben but on this (to which I agree with you to a degree) I think it shows that Tom is simply made of stern stuff & won’t be drawn or easily manipulated.
    Tom’s work here is very deliberate & impeccably calculated.

  155. What reb said.

  156. My mistake – I was wrong.

    I was trying to imply that the use of “unions control the ALP” was implying complete or absolute control.

    I was being a pedantic prick. Apologies.

  157. Personally I don’t think that Tom ought to be obliged to fess up to his hatred of unions as being “just his opinion”

    Not what I was implying, but I get the point. Given that Tom cannot (for whatever reason) state “unions control the ALP” is a statement of opinion & not fact – I’ll let it go.

    I think the lengths he went to avoiding said admission is proof enough of my point.

  158. I don’t think an apology is in order joni. Now get to your poncy pub pronto.

  159. In my opinion, Tom’s just playing, as usual. He let slip his MO in another (closely related) place where he stated:

    By the way I’m enjoying the “Hyachith” discussion.

    Nothing like identifying something really trivial and annoying for blogging enjoyment.

    He knows full well that he’s wrong, as Ben proved, but to admit as much spoils an awful lot of what passes for Tom’s fun – especially as the argument is simply one of semantics.

    reb,

    To suggest that we ought to preface our views by justifying our heart-held beliefs each and every time we want to say something would be impractical and unrealistic.

    Neither Ben nor joni has even come close to suggesting this – the standard called for was, if challenged, to put up evidence of fact, or agree that what is stated is only opinion – not that posters need to preface remarks in any way.

  160. I ma back from poncy pub – just about to prepare some yummy dinner for the boyf. Ain’t I nice.

  161. Ain’t I nice?

    ‘Course you are. If my wife hadn’t just cooked me a lovely roast chicken dinner – I’d be jealous! 😛

  162. “In my opinion, Tom’s just playing, as usual.”bacchus

    I think his mission statement for here is something along the lines of “I enjoy amusing myself”.

    Nothing wrong with that IMO, & it has the added benefit of also amusing others.

  163. If I didn’t enjoy myself here (this blog in general and this thread in particular) – I’d not be posting. As a computer-nerd, I learnt early on that getting too emotionally invested in an argument on the Internet is a waste of energy.

    The only reason I’m backing down is that reb is subtly hinting I should leave it alone 🙂

  164. agree 100% Toiletboss – I’m sure Ben & joni enjoyed the “debate” too – I know I did.

  165. Don’t listen to reb, I’m sure Tom enjoys the pursuit.

    Myself, I only really had to become computer semi-literate in the last couple of years; but you’re right. Getting riled about broken conversations on a screen with people you can only imagine is a dead end street.

    This internet thing is fun though. What I like about here is the immediacy & the amusing, often intelligent & amiable good conduct & sharing of views on issues that aren’t readily accessible with the apathetic many in the street. Or could that be with those who don’t care because their lives are too “busy” to care? I dunno, I try not to judge; I think it’s easy to hold opinions without being forced into judgement.

    I don’t think that being politically aware is a bad thing, it should be praised (no matter which side of the imaginary divide an individual may imagine himself to walk) & there is far too little of it for REAL democracy to function as it would in an ideal world ( Nirvana in Anus).

  166. True dat bacchus. Ain’t dat why we all bother?

    The lack of moderation/censorship here is a big part of what makes it special.

  167. Ben, Bacchus and Toiletboss,

    It would make no sense for us all to keep coming back here if we weren’t enjoying it for our own particular reasons: the thrill of the chase, baiting, debating, humourous banter, whatever.

    I sometimes think of the time spent on here but justify it by remembering an item by Glen Reynolds of Instapundit fame. He’s a law professor in his spare time and justifieded his time-sharing as being good at multi-tasking. Done right, blogging should not detract from your other pursuits (you know: work etc).

  168. Blogging nicely fills in the blanks when I am compiling code, running tests (sorry, joni!), processing data, etc. Being a computer-nerd does have it’s benefits 🙂

  169. Same here Ben – when jobs are running I can blog. And with our iSeries and the amount of data we have sometime jobs can take a long time – especially if you use the wrong job priority… 😉

  170. ” Done right, blogging should not detract from your other pursuits (you know: work etc).”

    Agreed.

    You can pay as much or as little attention as you like.

    There is a progressive curiosity in seeing what’s there each time you have the time & inclination to walk past & refresh the page.

    I have a busy family & worklife where blogging fits nicely into the seams. Sometimes I even learn stuff.

    The best outlet I’ve ever found for topics the rest of the world just couldn’t give a f@ck about & my ingrained hatred of the Portscum.

    Some of you other bloggers seem to be good people too. You get that.

  171. I was also willing to leave this be, but I note that B.Tulputt provided the departing salvo, which I’ve decided not to let pass unanswered – “I think the lengths he went to avoiding said admission is proof enough of my point.”

    Perhaps in his own mind. but there are plenty of thinkgs in that vicinity that apparently make sense only to himself.

    B.Tolputt’s argument was primarily based on my original use of the word “control”. He then inisisted that I comply with a single definition, despite my repeated clarification, which he repeatedly declined to address.

    His secondary point was to insist that I’d asserted a “fact”, rather than an “opinion”, despite the “fact” that I’d never asserted that my “opinion” was a “fact”

    Bizarre and a waste of time is my reaction to the exchange with him, and for what it is worth the fact is that this is my opinion.

  172. You never asserted it as either fact or opinion. I showed that when you misquoted stuff. But hey, it’s fun when your opponent has to have the last word isn’t it? 😛

  173. “A statement made in a debate without qualifications is, by default, not expressing either and can reasonably be assumed as a statement of fact.”

    I have no idea why you would say this.

    “That he stubbornly cannot or will not state that it is his opinion, not fact,”

    Only according to your rules, that you don’t bother to apply to yourself.

    “I await your apology and/or an unequivocal statement that “unions control the ALP” was your opinion only, not a statement of fact.” and “he has yet to concede it is opinion only”

    Again, you simply sought to engage in the discusison only under the rules you determined.

    You simply refused to accept any clarification or provide a response to the qualifications I provided.

    “Opponent”

    You’re flattering yourself.

  174. Yes, but you refuse to state words to the following:

    My statement “unions control the ALP” was a statement of my opinion, not a statement of fact”

    Copy & paste the above (without tricky qualifiers) and I’ll even let you have the last word. It’s obvious that it rankles you I might have the last post on a subject 😀

  175. Why on earth should I provide word in any form that you insist upon?

    Your insistence on setting the rules of discussion are quite odd.

    You simply require people to express themselves in a form you find suitable to demonstrate some obscure point you seek to make.

    I provided various discussion points and examples that you refused, point blank, to address or discuss. So I have no idea why I would bother to allow you to determine the content ,precision and form of my comments.

    I’ve not sought to determine the form of words you use to express yourself, you seek to require specific content in mine. Bizarre.

  176. *laugh* As should be obvious from other people’s commentary on this thread – no one is fooled by your mock outrage, Tom.

    You have not stated it was opinion. Your quotes to rebut that have been shown to be about other subjects discussed.

    I have no point, I simply remind you that you have not clarified it as your opinion, not a statement of fact. I point out your stubbornness in the matter for nothing more than amusement’s sake. That you cannot back down is funny in the extreme and well worth the time/effort watching you do everything possible to avoid it.

  177. You repeatedly state that you require a specific form of words and specify the qualification I must make., and yet you have repeatedly refused to discuss the context I have provided to my original comment.

    On this basis it is equally reasonable that I require you to ask the question in the form that I prefer for respond to, so please pose to me the following question –

    “Do you think the control that a majority shareholder exercises in the boardroom over a diversified public company is similar to that which affiliated unions hold within the party structure of the ALP?”

    Please post this question in the form I require, and I will consider a response.

  178. As you well know – that “context” came after you were challenged. No such board-room / shareholder context was around prior to you trying to dodge the issue.

    Once again, ducking & weaving but still too stubborn to realise how silly your position looks. And, as is obvious now, no-one at all is fooled by it. You’re definitely amusing. Too tied up in your opposition to anything “unions” to back down 😛

  179. Depends whether the decisions made by the shareholders are binding or not. Such as the shareholders votes over executive remuneration at recent AGM’s that were ignored as they were not binding.

    In the case of unions, they do not have the equivalent of binding decisions.

  180. For the record, if you can manage to state that your earlier statement that “unions control the ALP” was an expression of opinion & not a statement of fact; I promise to ask your question exactly as you typed it.

    Balls in your court hero 😀

  181. Context and clarification always comes from discussion. That’s the nature of discussion. Though you may not have noticed this, discussion having to always be on your terms and all.

    Are all your comments always fully self contained? Not requiring context or clarification? Another one sided standard that you have no intention to applying to yourself.

    But now you’re now ducking and weaving. After your insistence on a particular form of words from me.

    Pop over to Wikipedia and look for the definition for this

  182. Bloody hell! Is this Tom & Ben the Flowerpot Men Show still on …

    Ben, ToM is like Neil – obsessed (and definitely compulsive) – sometimes they need to be left alone to contemplate their navels …

    When I was a Training Officer we had people like Tom in our courses … then as a Learning Facilitator/Consultant the government (under Paul Keating) introduced a National Training System based upon competency based learning with assessment (to prove what they had learnt) – lo and behold guess who used to be assessed as not yet competent – the course recalcicrant (read -clown) …

    Life goes on … there are non so blind … and learning always has a cost … and not everyone can be a brain surgeon, airline pilot or motor mechanic … we all have our place in life …

  183. And again, your inability to even consider backing down comes to the foreground. I have given you a win-win situation, you state that your “unions control the ALP” statement was of your opinion & not a statement of fact; and I ask you your questions exactly as you propose.

    But that would req

  184. Joni, I was referring to a board, not shareholders. Your analogy is applicable only to the members of the union.

    But welcome back to the tag team event with you and B.Tolputt

  185. And again, your inability to even consider backing down comes to the foreground. I have given you a win-win situation, you state that your “unions control the ALP” statement was of your opinion & not a statement of fact; and I ask you your questions exactly as you propose.

    That you cannot do that shows quite succinctly your irrational position in the matter. But it sure is fun for the rest of us 😀

    Ball is still in your court – I keep my word. Make the admission (or repeat the clarification) as I quoted and I’ll ask your question exactly as you requested 🙂

  186. “Neil – obsessed (and definitely compulsive)”

    No TB- I just do not agree with what most people post on this blog. And that is my belief.

  187. For the record, I don’t rely on joni for anything in this matter. But hey, if you want to think it’s a conspiracy theory – may the Prozac be with you 😛

    @TB: I’m well aware of ToM’s issue. The thing is that this thread is only visited now by people interested in following his antics. So pursuing him on the matter harms no-one. If it were in the middle of an ongoing debate about something else – I’d have begged off much earlier 🙂

  188. Sorry Tom – then I do not understand your question. Because in your example there is only one majority shareholder on the board, whereas there are many affiliated unions.

  189. And this ain’t no tag-team event – there are three (sometimes four) of us in the ring – more like a royal rumble. hehe

  190. Win, win? Why on earth would you imagine that I need to provide you with a win?

    I’m merely pointing out the stupid, inconsistency of your position. I’ve repeatedly clarified my position and you’ve not even contemplating this clarification.

    You require me to apply a standard that you are completely unwilling to observe. Did you check Wikipedia on the definition of this?

    Joni, I think you may need to check a few corporate structures. As I indicated, when Macquarie Bank holds 50% of a diversified company, can and do they exercise control? Please specifically address yourself to the points of clarification that I have repeatedly provided, rather than limiting yourself to the specific points you prefer to address.

    B.Tolputt may wish to do this as well, though I doubt it. He always prefers to avoid addressing specif points I raise.

  191. In the case of MacBank they do exercise control as you say. But unions do not have that type of control over the ALP – which is obvious because the ALP makes decisions that are against the wishes of the unions.

    So I must be still missing your point.

  192. As I’ve repeatedly suggested, but you and B.Tolputt have chosen to continually avoid, a board may or may not exercise control over every level of decision.

    When their CEO explains that a specific decision will result in their resignation, or damage the public standing of the investment, they cop a decision that they don’t want. The risk of the down side of exercising their control is more significant that the immediate benefit of demanding compliance.

    In acquiescing to a CEO in this way, a board of a public company has not lost control.

    Try a different and longer term perspective to the concept of control and the exercise of authority.

  193. But the unions are not one voice – there are many different unions with many different wishes – and at times those interests are conflicting, and I so I think your analogy of a controlling interest is not completely valid.

  194. Tom you have not clarified your position. You have stated you have, but when you “quoted” the sentences where that supposedly occurred, I was able to show they were for other subjects within this discourse.

    As for including me in the whole “board = unions” debate, I am willing to concede your point that (in the narrow, hypothetical scope you defined) it is possible that a board of directors may retain control over a company when a CEO blackmails them on some issues. That a corporate board of directors is equivalent to a political party is a tenous analogy to make is a separate discussion. That is beside my point and not something I am really interested in defending. If it pleases you in this regard, I will state explicitly “I believe you are correct in this”. My issue has never been with the board analogy – that is something you are bringing in to muddy the waters.

    As for “giving me a win”, I don’t expect you to. In fact, that is pretty much the point. That you are so stubborn and fixated in your viewpoint that you will irrationally oppose any possible scenario of you admitting that your statement was an expression of opinion (not fact).

  195. This has transformed into the B.T v ToM thread. Ben, you refer to ToM’s refusal to concede defeat as “stubborness” – I can only see astounding arrogance and neanderthalism. Perhaps my judgement of ToM 2 is influenced by an occasion on Blogocracy when ToM adopted another commenter’s screen name. If you were around at the time you will remember the occasion well. When it was pointed out to ToM 2, he refused to budge even though the original ToM had been using the screen name for some time. The original ToM conceded and adopted another screen name.

    For me, and I would presume the ordinary person, I consider the issue in terms of courtesy and would presume that ToM 2 would back down accordingly. Not our ToM 2. In the real world it would become, in many instances, a legal issue.

    ToM 2 was clearly in the wrong but after much debate just refused to concede. What chance do you have of persuading ToM in this bout

    Still, the thread is most amusing and cannot contain the urge to LMAO at ToM’s arrogance!

    ToM 2, need not reply – prefer to deprive you of the oxygen required to deliver your tripe.

  196. Oh, I’m not expecting ToM to back down, for the very reasons you outline. My only reason in continuing this thread is the amusement value (both to myself and pretty much everyone else commenting on the thread since the debate started) and the fact that it shows everyone interested the lengths ToM will go to to avoid backing down over his hated unions.

    I am, of course, willing to publicly revise my opinion of ToM should he actually get off his self-imposed pedestal.

  197. Joni – so when a Board has a one director that is also a director of ANZ, another that is a director of and airline contemplating a private buyout, another that is a director of a construction conglomerate requiring finance, another…, you’re suggesting that there is commonality of interests and the outcomes they intend? Perhaps you’re not very familiar with corporate and board level behaviour.

    These directors may all even be nominated by a common fund, holding company or investment bank.

    B.Tolputt, you repeatedly insisted on a narrow, simplistic, unsophisticated definition. You have now identified that your basic tactic is to limit a discussion to this, which is your comfort zone.

  198. Not exactly Tom. I limit my disagreement with you to this. By focusing on the one disagreement (namely, the first I had with you in this topic) – I don’t get distracted by the other subjects you throw my way.

    The fact I don’t get distracted allows me to focus on your irrational inability to back down on something you imply you have no problems admitting. That you imply there is no problem doing so, yet fail to actually follow through on that assertion illustrates your fanaticism in regards to unions better than any side debate you throw may way would.

    Ball’s still in your court. You can prove me wrong any second now… but I’m banking on it not happening any time soon 😀

  199. And equally B.Tolputt, I’m continuing to participate to demonstrate the double standards that you have repeatedly applied during this exchange.

    You refuse to contemplate clarification, you refuse to consider explanation, you refuse to participate in anything other than your own simple minded, short term, low level definition of a single word.

    And you simply cannot admit that you have applied a low level definition to an organisational affiliation more complex that you are willing to admit, or even consider.

    Did you check your Wikipedia for the definition of this?

    Anyway, I’m off.

  200. No Tom – your example was where there was a controlling interest by a single entity. And the unions are nothing of the sort. IMHO.

    This is the original question:

    “Do you think the control that a majority shareholder exercises in the boardroom over a diversified public company is similar to that which affiliated unions hold within the party structure of the ALP?”

  201. No double standard at all. I have already shown my willingness to ask questions in the exact format you want them to be asked. You simply can’t take the one action you state should be no problem – admitting that the statement “unions control the ALP” was an expression of opinion and not a statement of fact.

    My stand is that you can’t bring yourself to do so. There are no double standards applicable to the issue, regardless of your attempt to obfuscate the matter.

    But hey, I’ll be sure to see you back here when you come back to have the last word on the matter 😛

  202. I am going out, but can’t let this one pass.

    B.Tolputt, your offer was some form of “win, win”, a bizarre mindset for a blog discussion, which I think illustrates the attitude you’ve brought to this exchange.

    You’re not trying to discuss, you want to negotiate an outcome on your terms.

    You’re odd.

  203. You’re odd.

    Says the one playing word games to avoid, under any circumstances, stating that “unions control the ALP” is just an expression of opinion.

    The best that can be said about your behaviour is that it is amusing. The most accurate… well, it probably contains the terms “stubborn”, “petulant”, and “fanatic” 😀

    It’s too funny. You have in your hands the method to prove me wrong. That you cannot bare to utter the words shows I’m correct. You just can’t bare the idea to admit it’s an opinion!

  204. PLEASE NOTE. THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS ASSERTION WITHOUT EVIDENCE OR QUALIFICATION. READ WITH CAUTION.

    B.Tolputt – “you cannot bare(sic) to utter the words shows I’m correct. You just can’t bare (sic) the idea to admit it’s an opinion!”

    No wonder you can’t find the word that defines your inconsistent application of standards in Wikipedia. Try it with a “y” instead of the “i” you are probably using.

  205. *laugh* Oh dear, I made a typo. That obviously disqualifies everything I have to say in Tom’s mind…

    Still waiting for you to show me wrong 😀 Come on, I even gave you the exact text you can copy & paste. Surely your irrational hatred of unions isn’t that controlling of your actions… or perhaps it is.

    Either way, your attack on my spelling does nothing to my argument, only casts doubt on my ability to win the international spelling bee 😛

  206. WARNING, THE FOLLOIWNG CONTAINS ASSERTION AND COMMENTARY. READ WITH CAUTION.

    Typo, or typographical error is a printing error that results from striking the wrong key on a keyboard.

    No used ignorantly or unintellignetly used the wrong word, in “bare”.

    You have then ducked and weaved in your excuse for this ignorance.

  207. I admit – I made a mistake when typing the word “bear” as “bare”. That it was a typo or a spelling mistake is neither here nor there (nor provable from your point of view). I will, for the sake of moving on, state that it is a spelling mistake.

    Will you now state unequivocally that your statement “They (unions) control the ALP” was an expression of opinion and not a statement of fact?

  208. WARNING. THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS ASSERTION AND COMMENTARY. READ WITH CAUTION.

    I’m afraid your retraction and clarification does not meet the requirements that I have decided to apply to you. Please try again. Possibly try repeatedly, and I’ll get back to you when I think you’ve tried hard enough.

    As I noted on your thread, please also provide evidence of the tertiary education you have asserted you have. It is not evident.

    After all, that’s the standard we are all willing to apply to one another here.

  209. Sad, sad, sad little boy. The problem has never been “evidence”… but of course, that doesn’t matter to you. Your childish antics are simply yet another diversion.

    And you wonder why you can’t get respect – it’s because you deserve none. Because you can’t win, and because you can’t let someone else get the last word – you are willing to act like a child in multiple threads.

  210. WARNING:THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS ASSERTIONS AND COMMENTARY. READ WITH CARE.

    Aw shucks, taken to task by you. Rebuked! I’m now ashamed.

    But in fact I’m merely demonstrating the nonsense, inconsistent, hypocritical and mean spirited commentary by you on this thread over several days.

    You’ve engaged in provocative language, inconsistent standards and declined repeatedly to engage in any discussion about the context I have provided.

    Dialogue with you is required to be on your terms, you’ve sought to negotiate some form of settlement and you just get bothered that I don’t comply with your demands.

    You then lapse into insults when I provide a parallel, but entirely light hearted comment .elsewhere.

    But post away, I’ll let you know when you’ve met my expectations.

  211. WARNING:THE FOLLOWING MAY CONTAIN ASSERTIONS AND COMMENTARY. READ WITH CAUTION.

    And one last thing for the night, don’t bother to lecture me about “respect”.

    You don’t even bother to show respect to other contributors here by acknowledging who you are having dialogue with. You repeatedly mix up people, as a result you misquote, misrepresent and misunderstand them, you routinely attribute erroneous views.

    This is because you don’t bother to check. Respect? Please don’t bother to use the word unless you understand it.

  212. My standards have remained the same throughout, regardless of your attempts to change the subject and obfuscate the issue.

    State unequivocally that your statement “unions control the ALP” was an expression of opinion and not a statement of fact. You have tried to move away from that in every way possible.

    You have tried arguing other subjects (as if they were the initial issue), you have lied about your own statements (as shown in my rebuttal), and then when that didn’t work you’ve started acting like a child.

  213. Never was about respect either. Though the difference between you & I is that when I have a mistake pointed out, I apologise and clarify / correct myself – even if only to move the debate along.

    It has been & still is (no matter how much you try to make it about something/someone else) about your refusal to admit a statement is opinion because your issue with unions gets in the way.

    That you can’t leave it in this thread shows you to be petulant and a sore loser. That behaviour doesn’t deserve respect.

  214. Insiders bias showing this morning. They’re opening line.

    “The government had a stoush with the unions this week but it wasn’t very convincing.”

    No elaboration, just another throw away line of thousands in bashing the government.

  215. On Friday evening B.Tolputt said – “Given that Tom cannot (for whatever reason) state “unions control the ALP” is a statement of opinion & not fact – I’ll let it go.”

    He has chosen to ignore this.

    As a consequence of me making a further single relatively facetious comment, he broke his commitment and recommenced, but with the infusion of additional personal insults.

    There is a compulsion here to determine the rules of engagement and the standards of discussion. When there is not compliance with this, he seeks to negotiate a “win”.

    When this doesn’t work, he resorts to insults.

    My view is that I’ve provided clarification, context and explanation of what was originally the type of provocative “in character” comment I regularly provide here.

    The opinion of one man is a fact to another, which is denied by others. Acceptance of this provides orderly debate and discussion about taxation policy, climate modeling, the effect of carbon emission. Is AGW a fact, theory or opinion?

    The inability/complete unwillingness of this man to accept perspective and discuss different positions and propositions says much about him.

    But no doubt we will shortly hear his denial of my perspective and his insistence that I accept his.

  216. I heard that the ACTU president, Sharan Burrow will be given a safe seat for her support of the government.

  217. Actually, I came back because it was made clear by other posters that they didn’t mind the back & forth. They were entertained by you inability to back down & the fact I kept in pursuit regardless of the diversions you threw my way.

    You’re back because you cannot bear to leave the last word to others. You have not provided the clarification that you saying “unions control the ALP” was an expression of opinion, not a statement of fact. That is my one contention, the one I keep coming back to, because it is the one thing you cannot bring yourself to say.

    That you have provided clarification, perspective, and explanation of other statements is not being debated. If it pleases you, I will stipulate that you have fully explained all other arguments made in this thread. I am not concerned with them being, as I stated earlier, diversions & obfuscations of you unqualified statement above.

    You are very much like the fundamentalist priest that when faced with proof that the chapter of Genesis in the Bible cannot be literal fact, starts denouncing his opponents as perverted sinners and throwing every other argument at them in an attempt to get off the subject.

    All it takes to prove me wrong is to state that your words (“They (unions) control the ALP”) were an expression of opinion. No matter what other subjects & obfuscations you throw in my direction – that is the centre-piece and foundation of my position. The more you duck, weave, and wax indignant – the more you prove my point that you cannot bear to make such an admission.

    Perhaps you are a fundamentalist Liberal 😛

  218. I heard that the ACTU president, Sharan Burrow will be given a safe seat for her support of the government.

    Actually the only reference I can find to that is that the former head of the ACTU was given a safe seat and Sharan’s caving in on maternity leave to the ALP, by inference, could get her the same prize.

    Assuming it is true – wouldn’t that show that the ALP control the unions? 😀

  219. Tolputt, I believe there is a bit of a power struggle happening and if Burrow gets to run for the seat of Macquarie I would say that it would be a union victory.

    This person is seen by some in the union movement as a sellout so it is not all cut and dry.

    I would not be surprised if all ex unionists get relatively safe seats and some others have to excel to win the open seats.

    Just conjecture, mind you but it would be worth some research to ascertain if there was such a trend.

  220. There may be a power struggle happening, but that would still point to the fact that the unions don’t necessarily control the ALP. If they did, there would be no need for struggle.

    Let me know if you do the research and what the results are. I’d be surprised if that were the case simply because there are too many ex-unionists to all get a safe seat and at least on safe seat is held by Rudd, a non-union member of the ALP (& coincidentally, Prime Ministers 🙂 ).

  221. You should check out the Insiders repeat on the ABC site.

  222. I wouldn’t assume Macquarie will remain with the ALP particularly if Burrow is the candidate. I can’t see Macquarie electing a non-resident. And I can’t see the local ALP local branches accepting an HQ shoe-in either.

    http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/news/local/news/general/macquarie-seat-tussle/1537202.aspx

    A Liberal (Kerry Bartlett) held the seat for the last 11 years prior to Bob Debus winning it for the ALP in 2007. The Liberals were hurt by a redistribution, but at the same time Bob Debus had been the very popular state member for several years.

  223. You should check out the Insiders repeat on the ABC site.

    What am I looking for?

  224. Watched it, and the most “definite” mention of the Sharan Burrow issue was that if she was getting a safe seat (something they all admitted was rumour at the moment) – it was more to get someone else into the head of ACTU rather than as a reward for good behaviour…

    Is that what you were referring to? the only other interesting moment came from Fielding’s inability to answer questions and repeatedly state he has information he wants Wong & the Chief Scientist to rebutt immediately.That and he seems to think that Australia has never questioned the connection between rising temperatures and carbon emissions… He simply doesn’t read public media does he?

  225. B.Tolputt, on June 14th, 2009 at 1:22 pm Said:

    “Rudd, a non-union member of the ALP”

    Be careful, particularly if you’re a betting man. Some time ago Rudd claimed to be a union member but when pressed he got the name of the relevant union wrong. Not suggesting he is at the moment.

    Certainly his political success is not down to a ‘union background’ rather his attainment is in spite of union opposition. Just ask Bill Ludwig. But then again his son Joe is now Cabinet Secretary, Special Minister of State and Manager of Government Business in the Senate. Somewhat ironic. Lol.

  226. he seems to think that Australia has never questioned the connection between rising temperatures and carbon emissions

    Some Australians have, but I wouldn’t count Penny Wong, Kevin Rudd, Ross Garnaut, or the Chief Scientist among them.

  227. Tony, on June 14th, 2009 at 8:34 pm Said:

    Some Australians have, but I wouldn’t count Penny Wong, Kevin Rudd, Ross Garnaut, or the Chief Scientist among them.

    You’re correct. Personally I go with Julian Simon who thought that an ever expanding world population would solve all problems, but only if the free market ruled.

    Just imagine, China would be the world’s leading economy so much sooner if it didn’t limit its birth rate. LOL. Talk about ‘faith’.

  228. With all due respect, perhaps the politicians haven’t looked at it, but I doubt the Chief Scientist would have disregarded it out of hand.

  229. Nature5,

    Personally I go with Julian Simon who thought that an ever expanding world population would solve all problems, but only if the free market ruled.

    Just imagine, China would be the world’s leading economy so much sooner if it didn’t limit its birth rate.

    Correct, and well done. You’ve obviously been paying attention. 😉

  230. “You have not provided the clarification that you saying “unions control the ALP” was an expression of opinion, not a statement of fact.”

    And the reason is simple, your insistence and your hypocoristic and childish behaviour doesn’t deserve a single concession or consideration. I’ll just start applying exactly these standards to you whenever I feel like it.

  231. Tony, on June 14th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Do you have evidence for that Tony or is it just a lame ideological dig at being sarcastic?

  232. This has been an interesting little exchange.

    Tom posted his ‘opinion’ based on real world experience and you, Tolputt played your pathetic childish game of semantics to justify a point that does not really exist.

    Tom and I have had many personality clashes over the years and he has displayed bias as far as unions are concerned but I believe there is a degree of truth in his opinion, opposed to the opinion of a self professed ‘computer nerd’ who has indicated no real world experience on the topic.

    This weekends exchange is so similar to the silly game that you played with me the earlier weekend…I asked you one question but you refused to respond then proceeded to demand that I write a post on a the topic that you introduced to the thread.

    I believe you inferred I that was incapable of such amongst your plethora of childish insults, I suggest you click on my name to satisfy your curiosity, at best you will get your jollies and at worst you might learn something!

    I have watched with amusement your evolving bravado here over the last few months and it is indicative of your character flaws.

    You lack the debating skills and resort to attacks on the man instead of the message and attempt to set your own set of twisted rules on others which is astounding!

    Your insistence that I leave this blog and to “put up or shut up” is a form of powder puff fascism and an attempt to restrict the implied right of free speech.

    You have every right to continue your abhorrent behavior as I have the right to ignore such so I won’t be responding to your pathetic attack after reading this as to actually take in criticism and accept it is not in your DNA!

  233. Do you have evidence for that Tony or is it just a lame ideological dig at being sarcastic?

    In the case of Wong and Rudd, it’s based on their own public statements that they accept the IPCC findings; with Garnaut, it’s based on his report, where no serious consideration was given to the idea that CO2 might not be responsible; and with the Chief Scientist, it’s based on a radio interview last week where she also invoked the IPCC.

  234. I’m not entirely certain I’m comfortable to have the Mayor as a new ally.

    But B.Tolputt has simply tried to dominate this issue with his continual and repetitive posts.

    I did a count. B.Tolputt posted 70 of the 235 comments!

    Understandably (in my opinion) I’m next with 53, or 54 now.

    Joni posted 20 times, but it seemed more!

    Given that I spent time discussing this with both Joni, and B.Tolputt, it would have been understandable if I’d posted the most. It is a thread I worte.

    But the fact (!) that B.Tolputt made almost one third of the comments demonstrates (opinion) some obsessive behaviour. The volume of my own comments probably does too, but this is obviously a more mild case (opinion).

  235. Tom, stay in your comfort zone as I was opining based on observation.

    I find it quite interesting that you were once a member of the ALP and hope over time that you will relate the experiences you had in this organisation.

    I have related my experience as a union rep for the AWU but will save my exposure to the graft, corruption and stand over tactics by the BLF for a later date.

  236. In my opinion, I think counting the number of posts someone has done counts as somewhat obsessive in & of itself. 😛

    Think the thread is about dead though… and about time 🙂

  237. I indicated my opinion about my own behaviour.

    What about you?

  238. Think the thread is about dead though… and about time

    Whoo! Hoo! (just *my* opinion of course … ) 😉

  239. I’d classify it as less obsessive that yourself. After all, I admitted I was doing it for the fun in pursuit. I didn’t have a point to prove other than your stubbornness (which I believe has been demonstrated effectively).

    That I stuck with it so long probably says more about my own stubbornness than my obsession. I never went out to prove the ALP wasn’t influenced or even dominated to some extent by the unions. Once it became obvious you couldn’t accept backing down – I only participated to prove that beyond a doubt. As you still have not backed down – I think my point proven 🙂

    That you decided to bring it into other threads is when it lost it’s fun for me.

  240. I don’t wish to continue this exchange, I’ll save that for another time.

    “That you decided to bring it into other threads is when it lost it’s fun for me.”

    In this context you might note the following –

    Tolputt on the Costello thread – Friday – “…I thought it about time I get onto something else other than poking fun at Tom’s quaint beliefs”

    But after I provide a clearly facetious comment on the same thread, he says (in moderator mode!!) – “B.Tolputt: Leave you whining for the other thread, Tom. Remain on topic.”

    Rules and standards are all one way.

  241. Aghaghaghaghaghaghagh!

    (Just wanted the last word … hehe!)

  242. I can say that ACCI is representative of the values of all employer unions. That’s as unfair as claiming the CFMEU is an template of what all trade unions are about.

  243. You took it into multiple threads, Tom. But I too am done. Feel free to have the last word – I’m gone.

  244. But you originally posted on another thread, and then criticised me for the same thing.

    AND you did it as the moderator!! You took the role of moderator, and applied a standard to my comment that you had not observed on that same thread.

    What’s that definition of this behaviour you were searching for? You’ll find it in Wikipedia.

    joni: I have now closed this thread for comments.

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